Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: The Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot

Title: The Waste Land and Other Poems
Author: T.S. Eliot
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Published: 1922 (The Waste Land)

Rating - 10 out of 10

T.S. Eliot is a true master with words. His style of dark, depressing prose, gorgeous description, veiled hidden meanings shrouded in mystery, and sharply satiric wit is awing.
While some of my favorite poets have earned my respect for their pretty, delicate writing, T.S. Eliot twists blackness, madness, and desperation into shining beacons of lyrical beauty.
I also love how Eliot so frequently references other literary characters, especially Shakespeare. He also shows echoes of Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Marlowe, Emerson, the Bible, Arthurian Legend, Classical Greek, Shelley, Chopin, and others. These reflected acknowledgments to his heroes influence his writing deeply, and make it seem far more literary and relevant.
The satiric elements are clear and intelligent. I admired his short poem The Hippopotamus, in which he compared the animal to the Roman Catholic Church. Hilarious, biting, and clever. But of course, of course, the true gem in this collection of epics is The Waste Land itself.
One of my favorite poets and thinkers of all time.